A dead Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) (CODE 3) stranded in Dahican Beach, Mati City, Province of Davao Oriental last 9 November.

Source: Amihan Sa Dahican Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

Special thanks to Rusydi Andra for the info and Kama Ruddin for the pics. A 3m Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) stranded on 30 December in the Mutiara Bay of Moru waters, Kalabahi, Alor (East Nusa Tenggara). Code 2. Not sure yet if samples are taken.

Source: Whale Strandings Indonesia Facebook

Another cetacean, a Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima), stranded but was released in Aparri, Cagayan last September 25. It re-stranded three days later in the same area. PMMSN members and volunteers tried to rehabilitate the animal but it died the following day. Many thanks to Jeff Soriano (BFAR2), Doctors Ronnie and Christine Duque, and the rest of the response team for their efforts to help this animal.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

  1. The whale was badly hurt as its head and body hit the rocks on the beach.
  2. The stranded female Dwarf Sperm Whale that beached at Talomo.
  3. The fetus found inside the whale.
  4. The plastic found inside the intestines which caused the whale’s dehydration and ultimately led to her death.
  5. “Yarika” corn chip wrapper did her in.

Yarika! The wrapper that killed the whale
By Darrell D. Blatchley, 2nd August 2014;

A person walks up to a store and buys a bag of chips for one peso. After enjoying the contents of the bag he tosses the wrapper on the sidewalk or in the canal and thinks nothing more of it. This is the story of that wrapper and what it has done.

The small plastic wrapper drifted with the current in the canal until it reached a river then slowly drifted down the river to the ocean. It was in no hurry for it had at least 450 years before it would begin to fall apart. For as trash goes, this little wrapper had its whole life ahead of it – 450 years to travel the world’s oceans. As it sank into the depths of the ocean out of the light of day it would be poked and prodded by a crab here and there, a curios octopus may grab it to inspect it. For the most part it just aimlessly floats in the ocean.

In life things are sadly ironic at times.

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at 6:15 am, D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc. was getting ready to release an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) rescued the night before, when they got a phone call saying there was a stranded “dolphin” in Tolomo, Davao City. They released the sea turtle in the middle of the Davao gulf, far away from fishing nets and houses and proceeded to the stranding site.

Upon arrival, the “dolphin” was found to be a rare Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima), a female that was 7.5 feet in length. Rescuers knew time was not on her side. Her top dorsal fin was drooping, a sign of dehydration and her body and head was torn and cut from banging into the sand and rocks as she stranded.

For 10 hours, the QRT (Quick Response Team) from BFAR 11, Coast Guard and D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc. worked to revive the whale. When a whale strands, there is a reason. Anything from underwater earthquakes, dynamite fishing, sickness, or even old age.

The whale was taken to D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc. and placed in their holding tank to help her recover without the stress of the people at the beach and the danger faced by the rescue workers due to the stormy weather. It was a decision reached by the BFAR to transfer her, as there were no other options left.

Unfortunately she died an hour after transfer due to her already ongoing health complications. It was hard for the team that had worked with her for the last 10 hours to lose her.

Necropsy

As with all whales and dolphins that are recovered in the Davao Gulf a necropsy was performed with the BFAR veterinarian and D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc. to find out why the animal died. It is hard to cut open something that only hours before you had worked so hard to keep alive.

The first thing that was noticed was that the whale was severely dehydrated. Whales and dolphins do not drink salt water. They get fresh water from the food that they eat. So if something is wrong with the stomach or food, it starts to dehydrate.

Severe dehydration causes a low level of consciousness, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, a weak pulse and at the same time rapid heartbeat and confusion. All of these are bad for a whale to have.

DNA samples are kept from all stranding in the Davao Gulf to give scientists basis on the status of the stranded whales and dolphins.

The whale was covered in cuts or holes the size of a 5-peso coin. These holes are actually common on whales and dolphins and are caused by Cookie Cutter Sharks (Isistius brasiliensis). A healthy animal may only have one or two bite marks though this whale had at least 10. This would be due to the fact that she was already weak and unable to evade the sharks. The cuts on her body and head was a result of the rocks that grazed her on the beach before she was discovered.

As the necropsy was performed, it was noted how similar the whale’s ovaries were in shape to humans. Our hearts dropped as the ovaries were opened and the team found that the whale was pregnant. As with all mammals, the mother finds a safe place to have their young so they can be nurtured and fed in safety.

As her stomach was opened, the cause of her pain and suffering was found. A plastic chips bag had blocked her intestines causing the dehydration that led to her death. As the chip bag was unfolded the brand name was YARIKA.

Yari ka na. (slang, You’re dead now.)

You see, the whale eats squid. She dives to the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean to hunt. This is the place where man can never reach, at depths that no light can penetrate. She uses echo location or sonar to find her food in the dark. If it is floating on the bottom, she perceives it to be food so she swallows it. She cannot tell if it is good or bad as for her, it is merely food and she has never been taught otherwise.

If someone had only been more careful with their chip bag this whale and her baby might not be dead. For it is not the manufacturer of the chips who carelessly tossed the garbage but the consumer. When we become a society that does not just look at today’s ease but tomorrow’s gain, as well, then and only then can we start to change for the better.

We cannot continue with the slogan of “Live for Now” but we should be “Serve Others Now” in a way that we look at our actions and how WE impact everything around us. What are we leaving our kids and grand kids? Will they curse us for what we have destroyed? Or will they say that we started the change?

The choice is ours.

Source: Mindanao Times

1. As we opened the stomach we found out why the whale was dehydrated and died. Blocking the Intestines was a plastic bag used for chips.
2. [no caption]
3. Ovaries.
4. Upon opening the ovaries our hearts dropped. The Dwarf Sperm Whale was pregnant.
5. Baby Dwarf Sperm Whale.
6. Baby Dwarf Sperm Whale.

Some days have their ups and downs. This day did. Released a rescued Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) then responded to a stranded Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) that died 10 hours later. The cause was the worst. Huge thanks to BFAR QRT Region 11, the Philippine Coast Guard and those who helped.

Source: D’ Bone Collector Museum Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

(This is Part 2 of a 2-part photo set)

This Dwarf Sperm Whale stranded and died last 23 July in Davao City. Its death is attributed to a plastic bag (Yari Ka Corn Chips brand) blocking its intestines.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

This fetus of a Dwarf Sperm Whale was recovered from the womb of a stranded animal last week in Davao City. The mother reportedly died due to complications brought about by plastic bag ingestion. Adult Dwarf Sperm Whales can reach a length of 2.7m. Sad.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

1. Frustration at the inevitable fate of this one.
2. Chewed up and scraped up.
3. BFAR QRT keeping the whales skin wet.
4. The holes are bite marks from Cookie Cutter Sharks (Isistius brasiliensis).
5. These injuries are likely to be from the initial stranding before she was found.
6. Dead eyes: seconds after the whale died

Some days have their ups and downs. This day did. Released a rescued Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) then responded to a stranded Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) that died 10 hours later. The cause was the worst. Huge thanks to BFAR QRT Region 11, the Philippine Coast Guard and those who helped.

Source: D’ Bone Collector Museum Facebook, via Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook

(This is Part 1 of a 2-part photo set)

Philippines: ‘Dwarf Sperm Whale’ beached on Davao City coast
By Joel Locsin, 23rd July 2014;

A supposed Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima) was found wounded and beached at a coastal area of Davao City on Wednesday, attracting the attention of local residents.

The animal measured about seven feet long, according to a report by GMA Davao correspondent LJ Lindaan.

Citing initial information, the report said the Dwarf Sperm Whale was beached along the coastline of Barangay Talomo in Davao City.

It said the whale had injuries that it said were “possibly caused by attacks from Cookie-cutter Sharks (Isistius brasiliensis).”

A photo posted on the Facebook account of GMA Davao’s “Una Ka Bai!” showed residents tending to the wounded whale.

Source: GMA News Online

This Dwarf Sperm Whale died, and was subsequently found to have swallowed an empty corn chips bag.

Philippines: 2 Dwarf Sperm Whales, 21 dolphins killed by dynamite fishing off Siargao

By Ernie Reyes, 26th March 2014;

Dynamite fishing has killed two Dwarf Sperm Whales (Kogia sima) and 21 dolphins have been killed in the waters of Mindanao’s surfing haven, Siargao Island, despite a ban on the practice under the Fisheries Code of the Philippines, Senator Loren Legarda said Wednesday.

“This is another unfortunate case of marine resource abuse. Dynamite fishing has long been banned and is punishable under the Fisheries Code along with (other) illegal fishing methods,” Legarda said.

“Authorities must strictly enforce the law because this is not only about a fisher’s catch or a community’s livelihood, but also about the state of marine biodiversity, which affects the nation as a whole,” she added.

Citing reports, Legarda said the marine mammals had been badly injured by blast fishing and were later stabbed by local fishermen.

“Our law enforcement agencies should go after the perpetrators of this crime against nature and ensure that our seas and marine species are safe from such cruelty. We should be more vigilant because this could be happening in other parts of the country as well,” she said.

At the same time, Legarda made a pitch for the fishing communities of Siargao to further capitalize on the Surigao del Norte island’s reputation as a surfing haven by becoming “a model for marine conservation through sustainable fishing methods and other marine protection practices.”

“Fishing is not only a form of livelihood but also a way by which a fisherman can carry out his responsibility as a steward of our marine resources,” she stressed.

Source: InterAksyon

Philippines: 2 Dwarf Sperm Whales, 21 dolphins killed by dynamite fishing off Siargao

SLIDESHOW: BFAR probes death of Dwarf Sperm Whales in Siargao
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) believes dynamites caused the death of the whales in Dapa, Siargao Islands.
25th March 2014;

Source: ANC – Yahoo Philippines News

RESCUE MISSION. Swiss-Italian marine biologist Gianni Boy Grifoni and his assistant, Stephanie Chua, try to save a dwarf sperm whale wounded by dynamite fishing off Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte province. DAMIAN GAGNIEUX/CONTRIBUTOR

Philippines: Dynamite fishermen kill 22 rare whales
By Danilo Adorador III, 25th March 2014;

Dynamite fishing continues to destroy not only corals but also rare sea creatures off the world-famous surfing destination of Siargao Island, killing at least 22 rare Dwarf Sperm Whales (Kogia sima) and 21 dolphins over the weekend.

“The whales, apparently 22 of them, were killed by dynamite fishing,” said Gianni Boy Grifoni, a Swiss-Italian marine biologist who is currently staying in General Luna town, the island’s surfing and resort haven that is popular with tourists. He cited the accounts of residents.

On Friday, a beach resort in Dapa town, Siargao’s trade center, became a refuge for two wounded dwarf sperm whales—apparently a mother and its baby—hours after what a resident described as a series of blasts from the sea that morning.

Grifoni and his assistant, Stephanie Chua, tried to save the whales that got stranded off a resort in Kamaligan, Barangay (village) 12, in Dapa, at 11 a.m. on Friday. Both were badly injured, according to Grifoni.

“I helped to check the status of the Dwarf Sperm Whales. We arrived to save two at the beginning, one mother with the baby. The baby died on Saturday morning after suffering bad injures,” he said. On Sunday, the mother sperm whale died.

Donna Tiu, a Dapa resident who saw the two Dwarf Sperm Whales when they were brought to the beach, said the creatures looked severely distressed, their stab wounds visible. “They looked as if they were pleading for help,” Tiu said.

It is a common practice among dynamite fishermen to stun large marine species, such as dolphins and Dwarf Sperm Whales, with a blast and finish them off with bolos. Grifoni said the two whales had stab wounds.

Residents said at least 21 dolphins were also killed during Friday’s dynamite fishing spree. The meat is sold in wet markets but most are set aside for fishing families to consume. Fisherfolk make up the majority of Siargao’s population of 150,000, scattered around nine poor municipalities.

Law enforcement has also been a nagging problem. Some police and local officials are known to release whoever is caught using dynamites out of compassion.

“They (police and local authorities) merely confiscate the illegal fishing paraphernalia and then free the offenders,” said one resident, who did not want his name mentioned for fear of reprisal. “So the problem persists because no one gets punished.”

It is common to see amputees in Siargao—a stark reminder of how widespread the use of illegal fishing methods is. Dynamite fishing has also caused the widespread destruction of corals around the island.

Jake Miranda, a businessman who is known for his marine conservation campaigns, had earlier sounded the alarm over dynamite fishing’s impact on Siargao’s marine environment.

“One doesn’t see the obvious destruction caused by dynamite fishing. There are hundreds if not thousands of the same damage in other parts of Siargao. Corals never grow back easily. It takes a lifetime to bring back the fish,” Miranda said in a recent Facebook post.

“Today, dynamite fishing off Siargao Island continues unabated. It is time to stop it not for our sake but for our children and their children who have yet to enjoy the beauty and diversity of Siargao,” he said.

The nearby island province of Dinagat also suffers from the same fate, Miranda said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer